Questions to Ask a Teen Program or School

Questions Parents Should Ask Every Program

What should I ask?

What should I ask a potential school or camp?
(Questions to ask a school you are considering.)


Can you keep a teen if they don’t want to stay?
Can the teen get kicked out?
What must they do to get kicked out?
Do you take aggressive teens?

Basic information

Is your facility licensed?
What are the program age ranges?
Are boys and girls kept separate? How?
What types of financing do you have?
What contact do parents have with the teen?
How often do parents get to talk to the school?
Are there any required visits for parents to make to the program while teens are there?
How many students in a room?
What kind of sleeping facilities?
How many share a bathroom?
Can my teen stay after 18 if they are willing?
Do they get to leave the facility during the program?
What do the teens do for fun?
What kind of extra charges beyond tuitionare there?
Do you need both parents’ signatures and what are custody stipulations?
How long has your school been in existence?

Have you ever had any deaths in your program?
Have you ever had any life threatening or serious injuries?
Has your facility or any of its employees ever been convicted of child abuse charges?
(If yes explain)
What is the average length of stay?
What is program success rate?
Are admissions done on an ongoing basis?
What is your maximum occupancy?
What form of discipline do you use?
What kind of teens is not appropriate for your program?

This list is a good place to start if you are thinking about sending your troubled teen to a boarding school or boot camp. You may even be able to ask the school or program if you can talk to other students who have graduated and the parents.

Programs for Troubled & Defiant Teenagers

What is a troubled teen?

The mildly troubled teen will usually respond to methods that can best be applied at home. This teen is still willing to comply with their parent’s and/or teacher’s wishes. A mildly troubled teen will do their home work, chores, and even comply with a consequence given them. For this teen a home contract may be just the answer. A home contract is simply an agreement between a parent and a child. The agreement can be as long or as short as you would like.

It should be long enough to describe what privileges the child will have if they do what they are supposed to do. It should also contain penalties and consequences for failure to obey the rules spelled out in the contract. A good majority of teens will fall into this category and can best be helped with an increase of structure with consistent follow through of consequences.

This teen is a little less difficult to deal with than the extremely troubled teen. They are usually aware that they have a problem and deep down would like to make some changes in their lives. They, unlike the extremely troubled teen, will usually be receptive to help. Once their outer shell has been cracked and they see that someone wants to help them they realize they must comply to be released from the program or treatment center they are in.

This is when they begin to make progress. The moderately troubled teen will progress more rapidly through the points and levels associated with most programs. They usually retain what they have learned and won’t desire to return to the restrictive environment they have been in. Moderately troubled teens will also excel academically and in many instances will come home ahead of their peers.
Extremely Troubled Teens

This teen has usually been through medical and psychological screening and testing. They also might be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Many parents have tried to help a teen in these categories with medication and/or counseling. This teen will most likely refuse any kind of help insisting that they are okay and that their parents or teachers are the ones in need of help. The will refuse to take their medicine and will not participate in any kind of therapeutic counseling.

If they do agree to go to a counseling session they will simply try to manipulate the counselor to see things the way they do. Some parents are further frustrated when the manipulation works and the therapist takes the side of the youth which further enables their negative behaviors. The extremely troubled teen has usually had years of no consequences for their negative behavior. This can translate into positive reinforcement for their inappropriate choices. The reasoning behind this is that when an extremely troubled teen is crying out for help they act negatively to call attention to themselves.

When they are threatened with a consequence and nothing happens they have received the attention they wanted and not had to be accountable for it. This might let them believe it is alright to act that way. If this is your teen, start to get help today by researching programs to find one that fits your needs here, or call us now at 1-800-781-8281. We can help you find the right program for your needs.